We celebrated National Hospital Week in May, but the Baptist Home Medical Equipment team calls it Health Care Week, as their care extends beyond the hospital walls. Not many team members know much about Baptist Home Medical Equipment, which has physical locations in Memphis and Columbus, Mississippi, serving eight counties in the tri-state area from its Memphis location and 12 counties from its Columbus location. The group has a 28,000-square-foot office/warehouse in Memphis for staff and equipment.
Baptist Home Medical Equipment has 35 full-time team members and many more PRN staffers, including respiratory therapists, home medical equipment delivery technicians, customer service/intake specialists, documentation specialists, reimbursement specialists and quality staff.
“When COVID-19 was at its height, we were the first line helping the hospitals discharge patients while continuing their care at home,” said Jayne Greenwald, executive director of Baptist Home Medical Equipment.
Baptist Home Medical Equipment provides equipment that enables patients to continue their treatment at home. The group supplies oxygen, ventilators and tracheostomy equipment and supplies. It also obtains walkers, canes, wheelchairs, bedside commodes and other smaller items directly from the hospital before patients leave. Patients on the more complicated ventilator systems may also need cough assist devices and suction equipment.
Baptist Home Medical Equipment also provide apnea monitors to neonatal/pediatric patients. Respiratory therapists visit their homes regularly to help ensure the equipment remains functional and is being used properly.
When patients have equipment delivered to their homes, Baptist Home Medical Equipment therapists or technicians make safety assessment visits to identify potential fire, trip and fall hazards, and they help patients and their families prepare for emergencies such as fires, extensive power outages and extreme weather situations.
Baptist Home Medical Equipment also provides CPAP/BiPAP devices and supplies to sleep apnea patients. Generally, the replacement supplies are shipped to the home. Recently a patient called to praise the speed of the delivery of his order.
“That patient was so grateful for the quick turnaround on his supplies and wanted to recognize Baptist Home Medical Equipment,” said Jayne.
Baptist Home Medical Equipment respiratory therapists, delivery technicians and a member of the leadership team are on call 24/7, helping the hospital discharge process on nights, weekends and holidays, and they strive to get orders delivered as quickly as possible. The same on-call staff covers issues with equipment already in the home, delivery of oxygen tanks to patients experiencing power outages and delivery of additional equipment to hospice patients.
Jayne estimates that Baptist Home Medical Equipment is currently renting out more than 12,000 pieces of equipment, including 50 ventilators, serving 2,800 to 3,000 patients at any one time. She also said that Baptist OneCare/Epic has been a big help to the team, allowing them to access patient information easily, obtain orders and to communicate quickly with hospital and physician office staff, as well as patients by using Baptist OneCare MyChart.